Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stroller Re-Cover (AKA the DAMN Stroller)

I've done enough strollers re-covers now that when my sister-in-law asked me to work on hers I didn't hesitate.  It was a Graco that she'd bought second hand and was now using it on her second child and it was in really terrible condition.  Apparently I should have been more careful to look at what I was volunteering for.  Never have I come closer to failure than this project and it wasn't long before it was deemed the DAMN stroller.

You'd never tell by the after pictures though because it turned out so well.  The fit of the new cover is amazing, despite the near disaster.

Take a look at this lovely before pic.  Notice how faded the front of the sunshade is?  This needed a make-over almost as badly as the Navy Stroller.

Every stroller is different so there isn't really a tutorial, more like a process. Here's how my process goes.
  1. Break the stroller down into sections.  So the sunshade is one section, the basket underneath is one section, the cushion is one section and the lining fabric is another.  If you're lucky the stroller will be in decent condition and you'll just need to re-cover the cushion and the sunshade, those are ideal and a lot less work.  Whatever the condition of your stroller you're going to work on one section at a time, so any time you're overwhelmed you just need to remind yourself that your current project is your one small section, forget about the big project and focus on the small.
  2. I always start on the sunshade so I'll use that section as my example.  You're first going to figure out how to remove the sunshade from the stroller, it's usually held on with 4 screws.  Once it's removed you can slide the shade off of the metal supports, there are usually two.  Put them aside for later.
  3. This next step is the most tedious, you're going to carefully unpick all the parts to your sunshade so you can use them as your pattern.  It's important not to forget how the pieces you take apart went together because you need to be able to put them back, I find it helpful as one piece is removed to pin it back in place with one or two pins just so I don't forget how it's constructed.  Sunshade's also normally use two thin plastic supports, as you remove these put them aside for later.  
  4. Once your pieces are unpicked you can unpin one piece at at time and use it as a pattern to cut out your new fabric.  Once it's cut out I pin the old piece back where it was (not taking any chances with my memory here).  A tip, those two plastic pieces that were removed will need casings to put them back in and that fabric should really be cut on the bias to make it look smoother, I always use bias tape or piping with the cord removed.  Makes your job easier and you want a contrasting fabric anyway.
  5. Once your pieces are all cut out of your fabric you can use your old pinned together mess (it's now a mess by the way) to see how you sew everything back together.
  6. Add your two plastic supports back in and finish all your raw edges off with some sort of binding.  I like to re-use the original just because you need so much but if you re-use the original keep in mind that you should stretch it while you're sewing it back on or you'll run out.  You could also use twill tape, nylon webbing or bias tape.  I've used all three and twill tape is my favourite and I think the easiest to work with.
As for fabric amounts you'll have to try and figure that out on your own stroller but to give you an idea here's what I used on this last stroller. 
  • 1 meter of the stripe  (For you American's a meter is 39")
  • 1 1/4 meter of the flower
  • 4 meters of plain brown broadcloth (I always double broadcloth because it's so thin, I really needed one more meter of the brown though, I ended up taking a chunk from my stash to finish)
  • 12 meters of twill tape (I hardly had any left)
  • This is the first stroller I've done with mesh, I happened to have a mesh laundry bag from the dollar store that I'd used on a previous project and it worked great.
  • Also, if you're going to replace the backing and the basket underneath you'll probably need to replace some pound on snaps.
So why was this project so difficult?  As I mentioned in my steps above, the cushion and the backing fabric are normally separate but that wasn't the case on this one, they were attached.  That meant I had to sew together all these strange pieces for the backing and then put right sides together and flip the entire thing.  I hope it sounds complicated because it really was!  In the end I won though even if it brought me near tears.  I actually think the fit on this stroller is better than some I've done in the past so the difficulty ended up being worth it.

Okay enough talking, more pictures!

I think the pop of yellow on the cushion is perfect and I love how comfy it looks.

I particularly love this shot. That really washed out fabric is supposed to be dark navy blue, and I love that you can see the holes in this one.  There were quiet a lot of holes (anywhere there were holes I re-enforced my fabric to hopefully make it a little more durable).
 I love that in the after you can see how neatly everything is secured.

One last picture where you can really see the cushion attached to the lining.

  Linking To Monday - C.R.A.F.T., Making The World Cuter, Polly Want a Crafter, Simpsonized Crafts, Sugar Bee Crafts, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, The Girl Creative   Tuesday - All Things Related, Creative Itch, Domestically Speaking, It's Sew for YouLadybug BlessingsSassy Sites, Today's Creative Blog, This & That, Topsy Turvy    Wednesday - Blue Cricket Design, Me and My Bucket   Thursday - A Glimpse Inside House of Hepworth, It's Sew Stinkin Cute, Somewhat Simple, The Train to Crazy, What Allie's Making Now   Friday - Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Tatertots & Jello, The CrEaTiVe CraTe


Sharon@thisthriftyhouse said...

Oh Laura! You did an amazing job on this one! I looks beautiful!!

Brunette & Blessed said...

you did such an amazing job! so handy! I bought a frame and i'm gonna attempt to do the makeup board! I'll keep you posted

Tanya said...

Fantastic job! It's a lovely new stroller now!

jess@balancing the dream said...

wow!! this is incredible!! i never would have thought to recover a stroller!!

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

Wow- even though it was a pain it turned out fabulously! Thanks for linking this up as well.

Lisa said...

It's seriously amazing that you're able to do this! It looks brand new! I bet everyone who has one of these gets so many compliments!

Michelle {Daydream Believers} said...

Wow! You did a GREAT job! It looks fantastic! Nice work!

Jill said...

What a brilliant idea! I've never seen a large stroller like this re-covered! you did a great job!

I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
Have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Carissa B said...

WOW. This is amazing. Way to stick it out, because this turned out really really awesome. I'm definitely pinning this to look back on later b/c I'm sure I'll need it by the time I get around to kid #2. Thanks for walking us through your process.

I found you through the Making the World Cuter blog party and I'm your newest follower and would love a follow back if you're interested --> Carissa's Creativity Space

Unknown said...

Super cute! Rolling in style now! Come check me out! I love visitors and new followers!

xoxo, Megan

Patrice said...

Wow! This is fantastic. You are putting my stroller to shame! Thanks for linking up with Lemon Tree Creations today!

Yummy Mommy Mia said...

Oh wow! I wouldn't have even thought to attempt this. You've done a great job!!

Nan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nan said...

love your work! I am going to try to recover a stroller similar to this for a friend in need.
1 Appoximately, how long did it take you to do this project?
2. Any tricks for putting on snaps? I've had difficulties in the past with snaps.

Roxanibus said...

I am so impressed with your re-covering skills! I am so motivated to do ALL my baby's things now - car seat, stroller, high chair, the works! But I am a new sewer. I think I'll need lots of practice. Do you have/know of any video tutorials at all??Thanks!

Unknown said...


I had been thinking about doing this with my babys very old second hand stroller, but thought it would be too ha. Now i'm inspired to give it a go! What sort of gabric do you use? I love the patterns, but can't find any lightweight jacket/nylon type fabrics with patterns. Did you use a quilters cotton or a drill? I'm in NZ, but if I know what to look for I can see if I can find a shop online.

Love your work!

Unknown said...

Oops, a few typos there! What sort of fabric do you use? (Not gabric! Lol!)

Unknown said...

Awesome work on this stroller! I just bought a second hand double stroller and I want to recover it. This is a very inspirational reference for me to come back to! Thanks you!

Sharon Smith said...

I;ve read your post totally. Really it is obviously the most informative post .You have to know about strollers measurement, weight, quality before buy because it will be important to check all these false claims which are mostly has effects on baby's safety while visiting.If you want to buy a unique produces you may contact here.Thanks:)